When I moved into my Studio I had a phone call from an elderly gent who had seen my display of work in Scarborough Library. His wife had some beads and old jewellery and he wanted to know if they would be of use to me. We arranged for her to call one Friday but she didn’t show up, but the following Monday this lovely lady called in with a box full of broken beaded items. The box was all tied up with a silk scarf and inside were many vintage treasures, along with some beaded mats which were really badly damaged. I used the vintage beads to make some new earrings and unpicked the beaded mats with the intention of one day making some beaded bunting. I did in fact get around to making one flag but realised I needed some thicker thread to make them look good.
Fast forward then to the beginning of December when I got a message from Sue Bell of Luckenbooth Jewellery here in Scarborough. Another elderly lady had called into her shop in the market vaults with a beaded mat which she wanted repairing . Sue knew if anyone could fix it I could – as you know a lot of my beadwork is hand stitched (One bead at a time I might add ) It was evident from the photo that Sue had sent me that some beads were missing but knowing I had this stash I knew at least we could do something, even if it meant amending the design a little.
I rang Doreen and arranged for her to meet me at the Library and I took along my stash of similar beads. Now Doreen is 85 and this belonged to her Grandma who would bring it out on special occasions only. She informed me it was at least 100 years old. On seeing the mat I knew at least we had the right size beads and delved into the bag and pulled out 1 cream bead- can you even believe it was the perfect shade! Now it may have been possible to repair the damaged bits but I knew that if the thread had failed in parts then the rest was just a matter of time, so recommended a full remake.
If I tell you how many hours work I quoted her for you will all be rushing to my Studio thinking I am Superwoman. Thus began my quest to bring this treasured mat back to its former glory.
I had taken really good photos of it and had counted the bead rows so I would know where to decrease etc but decided to unpick and restitch as I went. It was easy going until I got to the flowers but all went well.And here is the finished item- it actually looks brand spanking new.
Now some would argue that I need to be more business like but there are times when things conspire and this was one of them – the look on Doreen’s face when she saw how lovely it now looked once more was priceless and I am happy that I was able to bring that smile to her lovely face.